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  Korea, South  
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  Geography
  People
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Here is some information about South Korea. South Korea is a country with much to know about. Don't go to South Korea without first checking this page.

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Map of Korea, South

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Korea, South
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a republic was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north. During the Korean War (1950-1953), US and other UN forces intervened to defend South Korea from North Korean attacks supported by the Chinese. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 18 times the level of North Korea. South Korea has maintained its commitment to democratize its political processes. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Chong-il.

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   Geography    Korea, South
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
37 00 N, 127 30 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 98,480 sq km
land: 98,190 sq km
water: 290 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Indiana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 238 km
border countries: North Korea 238 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,413 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 17.18%
permanent crops: 1.95%
other: 80.87% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
11,590 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location on Korea Strait

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   People    Korea, South
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
48,598,175 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 20.4% (male 5,223,344; female 4,681,594)
15-64 years: 71.4% (male 17,625,302; female 17,072,029)
65 years and over: 8.2% (male 1,597,085; female 2,398,821) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 33.7 years
male: 32.8 years
female: 34.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.62% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.33 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.13 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7.18 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.64 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 75.58 years
male: 71.96 years
female: 79.54 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.56 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,300 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
no affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 99.2%
female: 96.6% (2002)

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   Government    Korea, South
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Korea
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-min'guk
local short form: none
note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Han'guk" to refer to their country
abbreviation: ROK
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Seoul
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 7 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural)
: provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto, Kyongsang-namdo
: metropolitan cities: Inch'on-gwangyoksi, Kwangju-gwangyoksi, Pusan-gwangyoksi, Soul-t'ukpyolsi, Taegu-gwangyoksi, Taejon-gwangyoksi, Ulsan-gwangyoksi
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
15 August 1945 (from Japan)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
17 July 1948
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hae-chan (since 25 May 2004); Deputy Prime Ministers LEE Hun-jai (since 10 February 2004) and AHN Byung-young (since 23 December 2003)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 19 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2007); prime minister appointed by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
election results: results of the 19 December 2002 election - ROH Mu-hyun elected president; percent of vote - ROH Mu-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; YI Hoe-ch'ang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats -- members elected for four-year terms; 243 in single-seat constituencies, 56 by proportional representation
elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, MDP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 152, GNP 121, DLP 10, MDP 9, others 7 (2004)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Labor Party or DLP [KIM Hye-kyung, chairman]; Grand National Party or GNP [PARK Geun Hye, chairman]; Millennium Democratic Party or MDP [HAHN Hwa-kap, chairman]; United Liberal Democrats or ULD [KIM Hak-won, chairman]; Uri Party [LEE Bu-yeong, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISET, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador HAN Sung-chu (HAN Sung-joo)
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
consulate(s): New York, Tamuning (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher R. HILL
embassy: 82 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550
telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field

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   Economy    Korea, South
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is 18 times North Korea's and equal to the lesser economies of the European Union. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-99 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. Growth plunged to a negative 6.6% in 1998, then strongly recovered to 10.8% in 1999 and 9.2% in 2000. Growth fell back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the slowing global economy, falling exports, and the perception that much-needed corporate and financial reforms had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 6.2%, despite anemic global growth, followed by moderate 2.8% growth in 2003. In 2003 the National Assembly approved legislation reducing the six-day work week to five days.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $857.8 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $17,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 36.4%
services: 60% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.6% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
4% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 22.5% (1999 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
31.6 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.92 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 8.8%, industry 19.1%, services 72.1% (2001)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.4% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $135.5 billion
expenditures: $128.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $23.5 billion (2003)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.8% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.1% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
290.7 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
270.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.14 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
804,700 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.965 million bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.92 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.11 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.32 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$201.3 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
Semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 20.1%, US 17.9%, Japan 8.4%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Taiwan 4.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$175.6 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 20.5%, US 14.2%, China 11.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.1% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$155.4 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$130.3 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA $200 million
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
South Korean won (KRW)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
KRW
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
South Korean won per US dollar - 1,191.61 (2003), 1,251.09 (2002), 1,290.99 (2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Korea, South
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.877 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33,591,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: country code - 82; fiber-optic submarine cable to China; the Russia-Korea-Japan submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 104, FM 136, shortwave 5 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
121 (plus 850 repeater stations and the eight-channel American Forces Korea Network) (1999)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.kr
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
694,206 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.22 million (2003)

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   Transportation    Korea, South
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,125 km
standard gauge: 3,125 km 1.435-m gauge (661 km electrified) (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 86,990 km
paved: 64,808 km (including 1,996 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,182 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
1,609 km
note: restricted to small native craft
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 1,433 km; refined products 827 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan, Mokp'o, P'ohang, Pusan, Tonghae-hang, Ulsan, Yosu
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 535 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 5,978,949 GRT/9,761,699 DWT
by type: bulk 97, cargo 174, chemical tanker 61, combination bulk 10, container 60, liquefied gas 19, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 73, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 7, short-sea/passenger 2, specialized tanker 6, vehicle carrier 3
foreign-owned: Bahrain 1, China 1, Gibraltar 1, Honduras 1, Indonesia 1, Japan 3, Malaysia 1, Panama 1, Philippines 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, United Kingdom 1, United States 1
registered in other countries: 442 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
102 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 69
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 21 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 33
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 30 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
206 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Korea, South
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (24-28 months mandatory service required, depending on the military baranch involved) (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 14,233,895 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 8,966,241 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 341,697 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$14.522 billion (FY03)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.7% (FY03)

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   Transnational Issues    Korea, South
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with North Korea; intensified media coverage and protests highlight dispute over Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) in rich fishing grounds also claimed by Japan

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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